Sixty cadet officers who were recently dismissed by the Department of State Security (DSS) have petitioned the Senate and the Human Rights Commission, alleging inhuman acts against them before they were served letters of dismissal.
The petitioners, through their counsel, Clarence Yakubu Chambers, alleged that some women among the cadets were taken to a hall, asked to strip naked and thoroughly searched before being given dismissal
The cadets were undergoing training at the State Services Academy, Lagos, and had about 30 days to the end of their 10-month training. The petitioners belonged to the Cadet Officers Basic Course 28 of 2014, codenamed COBC28/2014.
The petition stated that the dismissed 60 officers were among the 420 graduate trainees who had been in the academy since December 2014, adding that most of them were doctors and para-medical graduates.
According to the counsel, the officers were due for commissioning into the service as Senior Intelligence Officers (SIO) on October 26, 2015.
The counsel narrated the account of one of his clients thus: “On Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at exactly 1.00 p.m., a team from the National Headquarters of State Services Abuja came and about 60 of us were called out of the VIP Protection Practical and asked to march to the multi-purpose hall for further directives.
“We were asked to present our original credentials for screening. On Thursday, the following day, all the female cadets were asked to jog to the multi-purpose hall for physical screening. From there, we were asked to move to tattoo ground.
“On getting there, we were asked to remove our cloths completely for them to check if we have tattoos on our body. One senior officer threatened us to open our private parts and raise our hands up for them to check for the tattoo. One Muslim lady refused to remove her pant saying it was against her religion. After that, dismissal letters were given to us. We were asked to leave the academy immediately in the rain on Friday.”